The owners of the Rhombus Guys Pizzas (locations in Grand Forks, Fargo, and Mentor) purchased the historic Grand Forks’ Metropolitan Opera House (116 S. Third St) with plans on turning it into a brewery. They have been looking for an experienced brewmaster and have been working with architects and construction firms on plans for the transformation to a brewery. (FMBeer article from March 2014)
Per the September 19th article in the Grand Forks Herald, they have submitted an economic development loan application to Grand Forks’ Growth Fund Committee, which will discuss the request on Tuesday September 23rd. The request is for a $53,000 FlexPace loan, which would leverage a $100,000 Bank of North Dakota grant to help buy down interest on part of a bank loan. If the Growth Fund Committee approves the request, it will go to the Jobs Development Authority for a public hearing on October 6th.
The Rhombus Guys are close but have not made a final decision yet as they say this is a big project with a final cost of around $2 million. They want to do their research before jumping all the way in.
UPDATE 10/7/2014 – Per the October 6th article in the Grand Forks Herald, the Grand Forks Jobs Development Authority gave final approval for the loan to buy down the bank loan and Rhombus guys will be moving forward with construction of the brewery.
That article also include several good bits of information for those of us here at FMBeer:
The application for the city loan states planning stages are already completed and construction could start this fall and finish in the spring of 2015. The costs of building improvements and purchasing equipment and machinery for the brewing portion of the project total more than $1 million.
“Rhombus Guys Brewing,” as the application refers to the business, would make a line of craft beer that will be sold on location and distributed to other establishments throughout the region.
“We aim to package the beer in kegs and cans for distribution, as well as growlers for sale at the brewery,” the application states. Its distributors will sell to other restaurants, bars and liquor stores. “The goal is to have the beer distributed in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota initially.”
“We ultimately envision Rhombus beers will be sold and consumed throughout the entire Midwest.”
Winjum said the brewery could produce about about 6,000 half-barrel kegs a year. It would also employ a head brewer, assistant brewer and two brewers, according to the staff report.
That beer would also be sold at a bar on location, and a restaurant would sell “high-end pub food,” Winjum said.